Dan Gallagher

Dan is a former professor with 20+ years experience in publishing, tv, and new media. His recent publications include Origami Poems Project, MockingHeart Review, The Creativity Webzine, Academy of the Heart and Mind, ActiveMuse, and Willawaw Journal Poetry & Art.

What Color Was the Victim?

Let us proclaim that it wasn’t a black and white case
That whitewashed Crispus Attucks the day of his death
If that was his name, or if he’d escaped as a slave
Or his race was mulatto but native American
His state became a mere shadow of racism after the case
In which our second president, John Adams, defending the Brits
Described Attucks and those who died with him 
As “a motley rabble of saucy boys, negroes, and molattoes”
Among other things. Witness how the term “escaped slave” is never mentioned
Or the race of the boy they were defending
Who was attacked by a soldier named “White”, of all things
Is anyone certain that the boy wasn’t mulatto as well?
Since White was never prosecuted, nor the soldiers, 
Nor the loyalist who killed a boy in that build up of violence
The prosecution and defence had rested so often on British jurisprudence
It was as if black and white had never existed
Until both found it convenient 
To cut a mulatto man in half
The way you cut yourself with an axe
And hope it turns white again.